View Poll Results: Do you have guilt about being thrifty?
I never feel guilty about a good deal! 32 35.96%
I feel a little guilty but I can't afford to buy Americain products. 17 19.10%
I feel guilty about buying stuff made in China. 23 25.84%
I only feel guilty if I find a cheaper price later. 4 4.49%
Other ... there is alway an other! 13 14.61%
Voters: 89. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-13-2013, 09:21 AM   #11
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Re: The ethics of thrifty

I have guilt. Not so much the made in China/made in America debate, but just that we simply can't afford to buy the highest quality, locally grown/made stuff. I want the best for my babies and it drives me bonkers that I buy them regular milk. Then you go crazier trying to find research to support your choice and can't find a single unbiased study. So you have to decide which "side" you want to take and you flip flop sides a few times. Then you just throw your arms in the air and say screw it! And buy regular milk without guilt, accepting that you are just a science experiment.

Or, sometimes it's as simple as needing some new socks. I just don't have time to research every sock company to figure out who has the best practices. I don't even have time to look over every single package at the store. So I go into Target, grab a package that may or may not have been made in China and call it good.

I feel I can reconcile some of that guilt by buying secondhard whenever possible and just plain needing/using less. And then striving to improve always. When we know better, we do better. Maybe one day I'll be minding my own business and a sock company will present itself and all my problems with buying socks will be resolved. But it takes time to do all that research, time most of us just don't have anymore, so it's a slow process.

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Old 03-13-2013, 09:27 AM   #12
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Re: The ethics of thrifty

I have no guilt for buying made in china stuff. Chinese people need to eat and support their families too. I lived in Thailand for 3 years. It is very much cultural thing in asia to work long hours. My husband was managing director and he worked 12 hour days as well as his senior staff. Long work days does not equal a sweat shop. My husband's company has a plant in china and my husband was over that plant as well. The Chinese have very strict laws about conditions in factories and treatment of their people.
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Old 03-13-2013, 10:04 AM   #13
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Other for me.

I teeter between not feeling guilty (since I do spend a lot of time trying to make the best buying choices and sometimes I can't help it) and feeling guilty.

For me it's not so much the American vs China made products, more about not supporting the consumer culture and the huge structure of corporation run politics that have been built up around us. Part of that is food, clothes, entertainment, ideas, everything.

I could drive myself crazy trying to weed out the crap we're fed, so when I have no other choice I try not to feel guilty about it. I try to buy used and quality. If I have to sacrifice one or the other it'll most likely be quality, unless there is something very specific I want and then might buy it new.

I will admit to recently buying more than 20 cheap diapers from china. I wish I had enough confidence to start sewing up a stash but I honestly don't think I can handle learning to make diapers right now w everything else I'm trying to tackle. I will make wipes and inserts though

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Old 03-13-2013, 10:55 AM   #14
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Re: The ethics of thrifty

I do feel regret more than guilt that I can't focus on all US made products. I feel bigger guilt about where I shop for a good deal and the lack of ethics or community support the companies have. But we are single income and my family needs me home right now. In order to avoid using public assistance, I stretch my dollars as far as I can.
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Old 03-13-2013, 11:03 AM   #15
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Re: The ethics of thrifty

I've learn to let go of the guilt. I learned a long time ago that you cannot please everyone. About 2 years, there was an article in the local paper that I was reading online. It talked about the rising taxes in our state and asked what we are doing to tighten our belts, if we had to financially.

I rattled off a list of things that I thought to be acceptable:
-line dry exclusively, indoors and out
-cloth diapers
-unpaper towels
-always winterizing our home with plastic over windows and proper door draft sealers
-keeping our heat at 66 - 68F and our central air no lower than 72-74F
-our own organic garden full of vegetables
-cutting DH's hair and DH cutting DS's hair
-buying thift store clothes
-coupons/groupons
-coffee at home (this had been the biggest struggle)
etc., etc., etc.

I got BLASTED by other commenters who chided me for not supporting local businesses/economy because I'm doing "too much" on my own! Cutting our own hair? Horrible! Vegetables in my yard instead of farmers' markets? Unacceptable!

You can't please everyone. Unless these naysayers would like to help me live on my shoe string budget while shopping (and let me tell you DH and I both work so we contribute our fair share to taxes without asking for government assistance), then they can just kindly not say another word about what I've done to help my family survive.
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Old 03-13-2013, 01:51 PM   #16
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Re: The ethics of thrifty

For most things, I think buying used is better than buying new -- local or foreign. I think that for the environment, used trumps new any time. For the economy I suppose you could make the argument that buying a new organic cotton made in the USA t-shirt is better than a made in China t-shirt from Goodwill, but that just isn't an option for us.
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Old 03-13-2013, 02:21 PM   #17
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Re: The ethics of thrifty

Quote:
Originally Posted by RainandRedemption View Post
I wish I had enough confidence to start sewing up a stash but I honestly don't think I can handle learning to make diapers right now w everything else I'm trying to tackle. I will make wipes and inserts though
I'm only considering because I'm not actually pregnant yet... So I'd have more than just 9 months to plan & make them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by keonli View Post

I got BLASTED by other commenters who chided me for not supporting local businesses/economy because I'm doing "too much" on my own! Cutting our own hair? Horrible! Vegetables in my yard instead of farmers' markets? Unacceptable!

You can't please everyone. Unless these naysayers would like to help me live on my shoe string budget while shopping (and let me tell you DH and I both work so we contribute our fair share to taxes without asking for government assistance), then they can just kindly not say another word about what I've done to help my family survive.
I cut DH & DS's hair. I do as much as I can on my own. I feel like as a SAHM... It's my job to do as much as I can to save $. A penny saved is a penny earned. I earn a lot!
The local farmers market is a disappointment to me. Most of the produce was not local (You could see the boxes under the tables)
I get a lot of my produce from my neighbor during the summer.

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Originally Posted by MamaJules View Post
For most things, I think buying used is better than buying new -- local or foreign. I think that for the environment, used trumps new any time. For the economy I suppose you could make the argument that buying a new organic cotton made in the USA t-shirt is better than a made in China t-shirt from Goodwill, but that just isn't an option for us.
From what I was reading ...buying 2nd hand actually does stimulate the (local) economy (regardless of where the product originally came from) . If you buy at a garage sale or craigslist or a locally owned thrift/secondhanhd store, the most of money usually stays local.
(And I agree it is better for the environment that things get reused rather than thrown away! I'm in the process of changing the elastics on some of the cheaper Made in China diapers.... I'm a few hours into the seam ripping. It would be so much easier to just trash them but I'm pretty sure PUL is not biodegradable. I'm going to extend their life for a little while longer. Even if it takes me 2 days of working at it to do it. )

Also... Older things seem to have so much better quality!
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Old 03-13-2013, 09:45 PM   #18
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Re: The ethics of thrifty

I picked other. We have many areas where we are thrifty in, but as much as I am aware and can afford it, we buy USA made products and locally grown produce/meat/etc.

So yes, I feel guilty when I do buy something made in China.
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Old 03-14-2013, 09:55 AM   #19
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Re: The ethics of thrifty

I pick I never feel guilty, but I am not always looking for the CHEAPEST available, but I do want a quality product for the price. I have and entire stash of BG items with GMD prefolds because they have held up well for years and I was able to get a great deal on them. If I felt that the "China Cheapies" would hold up the entire time I needed them to I would not hesitate to buy them.

As much as I would like to say that we can make everyone else in the world to manufacture to our standards, it just isn't going to happen, but I do think we will have to support a global economy.
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Old 03-14-2013, 11:00 AM   #20
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I am another who chooses quality over price the majority of the time.


I spend decent money on my kids shoes. A) they last. Ods' foot doesn't grow like a typical kid due to his heart condition. He typically needs new shoes once every 1-2 years (and yes, I take him to get measured to make sure...they do not change.). So to spend $40/year on good tennis shoes is an investment (we buy every year regardless if he needs the next size or not). Many of my friends are always complaining their kids shoes do not last 1-2 months. We don't have that problem, never had. B) I can pass them down. Ods' snow boots tore in the front, took them back to ll bean and got a new pair. C) good shoes help with proper foot development, saving with medical bills in the future.

Same with food, we buy good quality foods, spend less time at the dr (even with an immune deficient child). Cost more initially, but save on gas and co pays

Toys. How many cheap toys does a kid need? Right now we are purging all the kids cheaper toys for better quality. Less toys, less stimulation, more play.

I agree with a world market, I do not care where they are from, if they are good quality (and I like fair trade) I will buy it, saves us in the long run.

I do like supporting my local economy, I love farmers markets and local restaurants...so I tend to go there, the quality is just better IMHO
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